Suicides in los angeles county 1990 - 2010: Changing trends in demographics and injury mechanism, a county perspective
Methods: Data were obtained for all suicides in Los Angeles County between 1990 and 2010. Death certificates were examined to gather information regarding decedent demographics, mechanism of injury, and location of death for all suicides in LAC during this time period.
Results: From 1990 to 2010 there were 16,998 suicides in LAC. Annual rates peaked in 1993, then generally decreased through 2007, but have increased since then. The majority of suicides were among males (77.8%), but suicide rates dropped more dramatically among females (45% decrease for females, 34% for males). During each year, rates were highest for Whites and lowest for Hispanics. Rates decreased in every age group, but the biggest decreases were found among the 15-19, 30-34 and 65+ year old age groups. Since 2008, suicide rates have been higher for 55-64 year olds than 65+ year olds, prior to that 65+ year olds had the highest rates.
Prior to 2000, firearms caused more than half of all suicides, but since then their share has been decreasing. At the same time, the share of suffocation suicides has increased from 16% to 37%, and in 2010 there were more suicides caused by suffocation than firearms.
Conclusions: Monitoring trends in suicide, including changes in the mechanism of injury and victim demographics will assist in the development of more focused prevention and intervention efforts.
Public health or related research
Describe overall trends in suicides in Los Angeles County from 1990 through 2000. Compare how trends differed for firearm and suffocation suicides.
Keyword(s): Suicide, Surveillance
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked for the Injury and Violence Prevention Program for several years, with much of that time devoted to research into suicides and suicide prevention.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.